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9-Dec-14 11:00 AM  CST  

Is this Year’s Flu Vaccine Still Effective? 

Its that time of year again, flu and cold season. Earlier this week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent out a statement to physicians’ that the flu vaccine formulated for this year’s strain of flu, is not as effective as it has been in years past. It seems this year’s strain of flu has mutated, making the vaccine not as effective as it has been in the past. One of the biggest worries is that because the flu strain has muted and seemly made the vaccine ineffective that there will be more flu related hospitalizations and deaths.

The CDC states that 52% of the 85 influenza samples that were collected in October 1st to November 22nd were strains not included in this year’s vaccine. So far this year the most common strain of flu has been influenza A (H3N2), and it has been linked in the past to higher rates of hospitalization and death. The “at risk” groups CDC officials are concerned about include the very young, the elderly, patients that have a history of asthma, and those who have history of heart disease. The CDC states that because we have already moved too far into the flu season, a new vaccine to combat this newly mutated strain of flu cannot be developed.

The CDC states that even though this year’s flu vaccine may not be as effective against this year’s strain of flu, it is still recommended that individual receive a flu vaccine this year, especially those who are within the “at risk” group. During 2012-2013 12, 337 people were hospitalized with symptoms related to the flu, and 149 children died, which states the CDC is the reason why it is essential that those who are compromised, the very young and the elder, receive a yearly flu vaccine.






Goldschmidt, D., and Christensen, J., (2014) “CNN: Flu shot less effective this year because current virus has mutated”CNN,, retrieved 5. December 2014

Sloane, M., (2014) “This year’s flu vaccine less effective than hoped”, WebMD,, retrieved 5. December 2014

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Source: Sandy Andrews

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